By Kingsley Omonobi
A female soldier who recently got engaged to a corps member at the Yikpata Orientation Camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Kwara State was never by the army authorities.
Rather for perpetrating an act of indiscipline contrary to the code if the service, she was kept in a safe facility (guardroom) where erring personnel are kept in the enforcement of disciplinary discipline.
This is just as it emerged that the soldier may get a soft landing with a strong warning/reprimand over the incident.
A video of a male corps member proposing to a female soldier at the NYSC Camp recently went viral in the social media which is contrary to military laws.
In the clip, the lovers were seen sharing intimate moments while the corps member wore the lady’s military cap as she stood directly behind him. They thereafter shared a kiss to the delight of other corps members filming the incident.
A military officer maintained that the female soldier was never ‘arrested’, but was only going through a normal disciplinary measure to send a clear warning to others who may attempt to flout military rules.
“If the female soldier had not engaged in public romance in uniform at the orientation camp, but outside, nobody would have bothered.
“If she is not sanctioned, others may just be emboldened to do even worse than she did. Remember that military laws and regulations are different from that of the civil service.
“The military, as an institution, has its laws, and regulations that need to be followed and complied with, and if they are being abused by officers and soldiers, without any sanction, then it is only a matter of time before the institution loses its respect in the eyes of the public.”
A senior staff of the NYSC disclosed that even the male youth corps member who proposed to the female soldier was queried and reprimanded for sharing the video on social media, though he denied sharing it himself.
Army spokesperson, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu while speaking on the development said that it is an act of indiscipline for a trainer to engage in an affair with her trainee.
Describing the act as fraternisation in military terms, he said it is an act of gross misconduct for personnel to engage in romance while in uniform.
His words, “The Nigerian Army has codes of conduct, rules and regulations guiding our personnel whenever and wherever they are deployed for duty.
“As personnel, her task was to train the corps members and not to indulge in an amorous relationship with any of them.
Mr Nwachukwu said the public perception would have been different if a male soldier had proposed to a female trainee, adding that it (public) would have seen it as taking advantage of the female trainee.
“These rules were put in place for the purpose of proper administration and discipline in the Army. If I may ask, what if the soldier was a male? How would the public have perceived his action? Definitely, it would have been perceived as taking advantage of a female corps member, a trainee, put in his care for training.
“The same applies here. The Nigerian military like all others has its disciplinary codes, distinct from that of the general society. Every personnel has voluntarily undertaken to be bound by this code,” he noted.